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RAISED $ - OUR GOAL $500,000

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Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus)

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OUR CONSERVATION STATUS
  • National: Endangere
  • State: Critically Endangered (VIC), Endangered (NSW)
HOW MANY OF US ARE THERE?

< 2,700 individuals

WHERE DO WE LIVE?

The Mountain Pygmy-possum is confined in its distribution to the Australian Alps, occurring in three locations across the alpine region in Victoria (Mt Bogong and Mt Buller) and NSW. In NSW, a third population is distributed among small patches of habitat in alpine and subalpine areas of Kosciuszko National Park.

The shrubby heathland associated with Mountain Pygmy-possum habitat is characterised by the Mountain Plum Pine and other shrubs. Mountain Pygmy-possums occur in areas above the tree line however the seeds of Snow Gums, Eucalyptus pauciflora, are included in their diet if available. Trees also contribute to snow and hydrologic dynamics in habitat areas and provide access points to the snow surface through snow melt circles.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Mountain Pygmy-possum was first found as a fossil and thought to be extinct until 1966 when a living possum was discovered. Fossil records show that they have existed for more than 10,000 years.

The Mountain Pygmy-possum likes to eat the fruit of the Mountain Plum Pine, berries, fleshy fruits, Bogong months, insects, nectar and seeds. The female mountain Pygmy-possum can live for up to 13 years, making it the longest-living small marsupial known. Males live for up to five years.

In the warmer months this possum will be found amongst boulder fields and shrubby heathland. During winter, they hibernate under rocks below the surface of the soil or in boulder crevices, where they are covered with a blanket of snow.

FAMILY LIFE?

From January to April, the possum puts on weight to hibernate from May to September with the remainder of the year being an active mating period. For most of the year, adult male and females live separately. Males travel to the females’ habitat to breed.

A litter usually consists of four Mountain Pygmy-possums, which leave the pouch when they’re 3-5 weeks old. The babies live in a nest of grass built by their mother.

THREATS TO OUR SURVIVAL
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation due to clearance of native vegetation
  • Predation from foxes and cats
  • Inappropriate and changed fire regimes
  • Invasive plants
  • Climate change (increased temperatures reduce the snow cover that the possums need to hibernate)

     

Mountain Pygmy-possums love & need:

Eucalypts

Eucalypts come in a great range of shapes and sizes – from tall trees to small shrubs. Eucalypts are a dominant part of the Australian flora. Eucalypts range across Australia – the only landscape they are completely absent from is the high alpine areas, though they are scarce in rainforests and in the arid interior of the continent, except where they find refuge along streams and in isolated ranges. READ MORE

Baeckea

Baeckea is a genus of flowering plants of about 75 species, of which 70 are endemic to Australia. Baeckea is widespread along the coast and tablelands of south-eastern Australia. Two species occur in Western Australia, both in the cool, high-rainfall areas near Albany, in heathy swamps. Greatest species diversity is reached on the Central Coast and Central Tablelands of New South Wales. Two species (B. gunniana and B. utilis) extend to alpine communities, above 2000 metres altitude, near Mt Kosciusko. READ MORE

Podocarpus

Podocarpusis a genus of conifers consisting of about 100 species and distributed in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the Southern Hemisphere. Podocarps are evergreen shrubs or trees generally from 1–25m tall, they have been known to reach 40 metres at times. There are approximately 104 to 107 species! READ MORE